Posted in Blog  
  on Apr 11, 2016

Understanding the New Mexico Residential Landlord and Tenant Act

Under the New Mexico Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, a late fee can only be imposed after the expiration of a grace period or when rent is past due.

A late fee cannot exceed more than 10% of the rent that is due for that specific period, so a $1,000 rent would have a maximum late fee of $100.

Returned check fees may also apply if a payment is returned NSF. Here are some other key points you'll want to know.

1. New Mexico Requires Rent To Be Paid In All Agreements.

Some older leases in New Mexico do not stipulate a specific rent that must be paid monthly.

In this circumstance, the state requires tenants to pay the fair market rental value to the landlord on the first day of each week for weekly renters or the first day of the month.

2. Landlords Are Not Required To Supply Appliances.

Under the law, appliances include stoves, dishwashers, air conditioners, refrigerators, and swamp coolers in addition to washers, dryers, and other common items.

Landlords that do provide appliances must keep them in good working order, while tenants have a responsibility to care for them properly.

3. Pet Fees And Deposits Are Allowed Except For Service Animals.

Landlords are permitted to charge a pet fee, which can be a lump sum or a monthly amount, and a pet deposit if they allow pets at their property.

Service animals are considered part of a tenant's medical care and must be allowed.

4. Damage Deposits Can Only Be Equal To One Month's Rent Without Interest.

Landlords are permitted to charge certain fees, such as a holding deposit, to make sure a tenant takes possession of a rental unit.

As for a damage deposit to provide financial security, a landlord can only charge what is equal to one month of rent.

Larger deposits are allowed for written leases of 12 months or more, but also require the landlord to pay interest on the full deposit for as long as the landlord keeps it.

The biggest issue in New Mexico is damage claims to a security deposit. Many tenants receive no deposit back even though they've caused no damage.

It is important to understand what constitutes normal wear and tear before signing a lease to avoid any confusion. That way the residential landlord and tenant act in New Mexico can be applied fairly in all situations.


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